Guidance: for In the Moment challenge

Clear as the April skies, her little face turned up to the one she knew and loved so well. She beamed.

Carefully, the grandmother buttoned the young one’s cherry cardigan.

In what was just moments to the gran, the child watched a leaf fall unchased to the ground. She saw a squirrel ferret a nut from the branches of the branches overhead, a puppy’s tail disappear behind a wall. Saw children run to the park roundabout, giggling together in the whirl of another world.

She wiggled against the gentle restraint of the lily-scented hands.

“Patience, dearie.You really must learn to be patient,” the old one said.

Free now, the child burst into a run, curls cascading as she twirled in drunken circles on the kind earth. She followed the whispers of the wood-sprites in secret glee, heart pounding with the fullness of life. She wandered, wondering wordless things, singing the lisping songs of the fairies.

In mid-run she threw herself to the ground, rolling in the fragrance of the living earth and sun-warmed, growing things. With a petal pressed to her cheek, she rose and gave chase to a butterfly whose silken laugh was lost on the wind.

Rapt in this splendour, the child spun around to her gran, shining with the joy of the conspiracy.

“Oh sweetie, don’t roll around so, look how dirty you’re getting,” the voice of care said. Those kind hands dusted the fragrance from her.

“And don’t go up ahead there, we’ve not walked there before,” the gran said.

Voice alone now held the child back. Trees beckoned with leafy fingers, whispering of a shady glade, baby frogs, and a pond to dip hot toes into.

In the other direction a sandy path led to the park roundabout. It’s gravely mantra was hypnotic. She drew herself up, her whole body reading the perfect pace, the perfect time to leap forward with all its being, the rush of wild luck coursing through her veins.

“Oh be careful dear, come away there, it’s very dangerous to do that, you could get hurt. Make them stop first, sweetie, then get on,” called that voice.

The child looked at her gran’s worried face, noticed the stiff discomfort in her walk, saw the tissues clutched in fretting hands.

In an ageless moment, the child took in the other’s tight knees, the slight stoop of her back, the mark of wariness in her eyes. She read the many years etched into the other’s translucent skin.

In that brief eternity, the child saw…

Again, the full open face turned to that of her gran. Her chubby hands reached up to reassure the one she loved so, the one that shared her pace, but not her space.

“Tired,” was all she said.

“Are you? That’s all right dear, let’s go home then,” said the gran.

Relief flooded her tense little frame as they turned homeward, old hands flitting nervously about the firm young back of the child, gently guiding her home.

Guidance: for In the Moment challenge


Cape Town, South Africa

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